Ferguson man pleads guilty to the production of child pornography
ST. LOUIS – United States District Court Judge Henry E. Autrey accepted a plea of guilty from Mark Bennett on today’s date, for the production of child pornography. Judge Autrey set sentencing for June 13, 2022. At sentencing, Bennett is subject to imprisonment of not less than fifteen years and not more than thirty years, and a fine of not more than $250,000. The Court may also impose a period of supervised release of not more than life and not less than five years.
According to the plea agreement, on December 11, 2019, Bennett attempted to download child pornography from a Microsoft search engine. Due to material sought, Microsoft reported the activity as a cyber tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on December 12, 2019. This cyber tip led to a law enforcement investigation by the St. Louis County Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the residence of Bennett.
A subsequent search of Bennett’s electronics revealed over fifteen hundred files of child sexual abuse material. It was learned that Bennett had been abusing his adopted daughter and he had digitally recorded and photographed the abuse. Bennett was found in possession of five hundred and eight-nine images and videos of the aforementioned sexual abuse of his adopted daughter.
The case was investigated by the St. Louis County Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.